Mollie’s Birthday Wish Comes True!
Dundalk supporter Mollie Mullen enjoyed the birthday of all birthdays this week when Lilywhites striker Patrick Hoban dropped in for a surprise visit to prove that wishes really can come true!
The Bay Estate student, who is a season ticket holder at Oriel Park, is a huge fan of Dundalk’s record league goalscorer and she was left speechless when he appeared in her kitchen on Wednesday evening to celebrate her ninth birthday.
The idea was borne out of a family visit to Dublin Zoo last summer, as her father Kevin explained to dundalkfc.com.
“When we were at the zoo, Mollie sat down in the Wishing Chair and she told me a few days later that even though it was supposed to be a secret, her wish was for Patrick Hoban to come to our house,” he laughed.
“I met Wayne McCrink – who helps out with security on match nights at Oriel – a few weeks later and he was asking me how the kids were getting on. When I told him what Mollie said, he just turned and said ‘leave that with me’ but I never thought anything of it, to be honest.”
Things started to gather pace after a chance pre-Christmas meeting in McGeough’s where ‘Santa’ McCrink and Dundalk FC Community Officer Liam Burns were organising a photo shoot with the 2019 trophy haul.
“Wayne was dressed as Santa and he told us that Liam was bringing the SSE Airtricity League, the EA Sports Cup, President’s Cup and Unite the Union Cups in so Mollie and her sister Anabelle held on to get their picture taken with the trophies.
“Liam couldn’t get over the fact that Mollie went to all of the games, home and away, and when he heard Wayne and Pat talking about Mollie’s birthday wish, he organised a card and ball, signed by the whole squad, which was amazing.”
Just after 7pm on Wednesday, the doorbell rang at the Mullen residence in Kingswood. “Nobody but myself and my wife Ciara knew about it,” said Kevin. “Mollie kept asking for her Patrick Hoban-themed birthday cake so when the bell rang I told her it was one of my friends and that we would eat it when he came in.
“When Pat walked in, it took a few seconds for the penny to drop and she was speechless!” he laughed. “Pat stayed for almost an hour, signing pictures and chatted away, watching some of the Manchester United and Wolves game. Fair play to him, he was brilliant, a real credit to himself and the club.”
Mollie’s love for the ‘Hobanator’ goes back to the final league game of the 2018 season when she was a mascot for the clash with St Patrick’s Athletic at Oriel Park.
“She wanted to walk out with Pat before the game so goalkeeping coach Steve Williams took her over to him in the warm-up,” said Kevin. “Pat told her that he’d score a goal for her so when he hit the net during the game, she was in love!
“Lots of kids who are Mollie’s age idolise the likes of Virgil Van Dijk and Paul Pogba but over the past six or seven years in Dundalk, we have had our own heroes and it’s great to see children in the area look up to them like that,” he added.
“She was showing all of her classmates the reaction on social media on Thursday,” he added, “and it’s definitely a birthday she will never forget.”